Dauphine crash puts Remco Evenepoel at risk of abandoning race and Tour de France: "My shoulder is bleeding"

It was Itzulia Basque Country all over again. Remco Evenepoel, two months after a high-speed crash at the Basque race, returned to competition at the Criterium du Dauphiné and, the day after winning the time-trial and putting on the yellow jersey, has been involved in a crash that puts his Tour de France at risk.

"Overall it's okay: a scratch on the right side and also a scratch on my head, but the helmet saved me. There are guys who are in a worse situation and I wish everyone a good recovery", Evenepoel said in a post-race interview. "Now it's all about the next stage, so we're not concentrating too much on what happened."

It was a chaotic and sudden moment with just over 20 kilometers to go as dozens of riders slid out in a seemingly innocent stretch of road. Catastrophic consequences for the French race which had to neutralize the stage. Race leader Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic, Juan Ayuso and aproximately two other dozen riders hit the deck.

Evenepoel, just having recovered from a fractured collarbone and shoulder blade, sees damage once again to the very same shoulder. "My shoulder is bleeding and we'll have to wait and see what the doctors will say, if the plate is okay. We'll see tomorrow, but there's no other option than to continue." However only after the finish will consequences be properly evaluated - with the three mountain stages looming ahead, and the Tour de France in only three weeks' time.

The Soudal - Quick-Step rider details the crash from his point of view: "Everyone was fighting for position, because this was the last difficult point of the course. A few guys started to slide just in front of me. I was close to making it, but a bike went under me and I went over when it ended up in my wheel."

Unfortunately for the Belgian team, Mikel Landa - who also crashed out of Itzulia Basque Country and is making his return here - also crashed, but the consequences didn't look severe. "It was a bit of bad luck. The riders in front started to slide, which was strange because it wasn't a real bend. But it was very slippery. I hope everyone recovers well."

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